Who owns church property?
All property is owned by the Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (WA). This includes facilities such as churches, halls, manses, aged care facilities, hospitals, schools and childcare centres.
Every trust has a beneficiary, in this case that beneficiary is the Uniting Church who gains the benefit of the property to use for God’s mission. The Church is not a corporate entity. It is a voluntary association of individuals meeting together for worship and a variety of other related purposes.
As trustee, the trust holds the property for the beneficiaries, who are the members of the church. The beneficial owners are responsible for care and upkeep of the property; but when buying or selling properties or entering into contracts, the Synod, agency, congregation or presbytery will need to engage with the Property Trust.
What are Embargoed Funds?
When a congregation property is sold, part of the funds from the proceeds of that sale are put into Embargoed Funds. These funds are then available for the congregation to use for certain kinds of projects, but these projects have to be approved by the Synod and Presbytery. Further information is available in the Embargoed Funds guidelines.
For more information on Property Ownership and Embargoed Funds please contact the Property Services team.